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Sedona Chamber Notes: Earth Day is every day

Michelle Kostecki

Michelle Kostecki

Protecting the earth and preserving Red Rock Country for future generations is a top sustainability priority for the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.

On April 22, our team participated in the Red Rock State Park Earth Day Event. We offered free Earth Day cleanup kits provided by All Trails to those who stopped by our booth. As a part of their campaign, “Keep Nature Wild,” All Trails donated over 100 bio-degradable trash bags to giveaway at Red Rock State Park as well as at our Forest Road Visitor Center.

The SCC&TB encouraged participants to use the clean-up bags, take a photo of their good deed in helping the environment and send their photos to us for a chance to win four incredible prize packages.

I would like to thank our Chamber partners: Trail Lovers Excursions, Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, OAC Tours, Wilde Resort, Page Springs Cellars, Maralea Norden and All Trails for their generous support.

Celebrating Earth Day accomplishments is one way to remind each other of our responsibility to care for our beautiful land and practice Leave No Trace principles while hiking, biking and camping.

Nature is the primary draw for the more than 3 million visitors to Sedona every year — a staggering number for a small mountain town. Our Visitor Center is a frequent first stop for visitors, many seeing Red Rock Country for the first time. Our volunteers welcome on average 10,482 tourists every month. That’s more than the number of residents who live in Sedona — which in 2021— was approximately 9,700, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Our volunteers are highly trained to advise visitors on ways in which to respect Red Rock Country when hiking or while staying in short-term rentals, finding outdoor experiences, entertainment and art options, dining choices, where to stay, renting bikes, or finding free water bottle refill stations and EV charging sites. Of course, these volunteers also stay on top of the weather, road closings and wildfire danger levels. People appreciate our assistance, pronouncing themselves uniformly satisfied when asked to rate their Visitor Center experience.

Long-time residents know that the Visitor Center, once our headquarters in the 1950s, was built on land leased from the Forest Service. It has been a part of the Sedona landscape for generations. When a Phoenix company acquired the property in the 60s, the prospect of losing the building was imminent. The Lions Club stepped up to help us obtain ownership; a plaque commemorating their support is prominent on the exterior of the building.

As we look to the future of tourism management in Sedona, change is certain. However, you can be sure that our core commitments will remain — to continually educate our visitors to Leave No Trace, keep Sedona beautiful and practice Earth Day every day.

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